After our time in Livingstone came to an end (see part 2; The Tongabezi Experience), it is off to Zambia's famed Lower Zambezi valley, home to amazing wildlife and the Lower Zambezi National Park. Taking in some canoeing on the Zambezi River while staying at Sausage Tree Lodge and Old Mondoro.
Sausage Tree Camp is set in a stunning location on the banks of the Zambezi River, in the Lower Zambezi National Park. This is in the heart of the best game viewing area. The camp and very welcoming pool overlook many narrow channels teeming with game, offering the amazing Zambezi escarpment as the backdrop.
We enjoyed boat cruises, sundowners, day and night game drives, an early morning canoe amongst hippos and crocs, tiger fishing and even a surprise lunch in the Zambezi River.
Sausage Tree also offers walks with highly skilled and trained rangers. Elephants are seen in camp on a daily basis. Game viewing is excellent, with an extremely high chance of spotting wild dog, leopard, lion, hippo and buffalo, to name but a few, during your stay.
After returning from our morning canoe excursion on our first morning - hot and exhausted - we were told we would be "going out" for lunch. Obviously, we were all a bit dumb-struck, like where does one "go out" for lunch in the Lower Zambezi? So we all boarded our boat, and as we turned the first bend, we couldn't believe what we saw, a table, chairs, barbeque, drinks table and shaded thatch enclosure all set up IN the Zambezi River. The camp crew were all standing ankle-deep waiting for us, cocktails in hand. And so we sat ankle-deep in the Zambezi and enjoyed our delicious barbeque and cocktails. This was most definitely one of the highlights of my trip, one which I will remember forever!
Sausage Tree Camp is an ideal family-friendly as well as a Honeymoon destination; there is something here for everyone.
Old Mondoro; From Sausage Tree to Old Mondoro, it is an approx. A 45-minute boat ride, although that definitely depends on how many times you stop to take pictures!
Old Mondoro (the Shona word for lion is Mondoro and the name Old Mondoro derives from the local legend of an old, white lion that used to frequent the area) is one of the most intimate and private safari camps in the Lower Zambezi, offering only 8 beds.
On our afternoon arrival at the camp, we soon embarked on a game drive which quickly turned into a night drive after we had stopped on the banks to enjoy our sundowners. We were extremely lucky with our sightings, having spotted two young male lions, three porcupines (my first ever sighting), hippos running amok, buffalo, five genets, as well as a bushbaby which we were told was the first sighting in two seasons!
Other activities on offer include canoeing, game viewing by motorboat, tiger-fishing (catch and release), as well as bush walks - there are some excellent walking areas right from the camp, and I've been told this is the best walking area in the Lower Zambezi.
It is a very rustic camp - quite different from the likes of Sausage Tree where we had just come from - with no electricity (paraffin lamps bring the camp alive after dark), offering a fantastic "back to basics" experience. If you need your hairdryer, then perhaps this is not the camp for you.
The Lower Zambezi Experience by Uyaphi.com
- Nkwali Camp
Nkwali Camp has been designed so that guests always look out - to the bush and to the river. South Luangwa is superb game viewing country, with a beautiful area of ebony woodland and open grasslands.
Elephants regularly cross the Luangwa River, seen from the bar, or come to the waterhole near the thatched dining room.
- Chundukwa River Lodge
Chundukwa River Lodge, a small intimate and luxurious lodge located within a 30-minute drive from Livingstone and 36 kilometres upstream of the Victoria Falls.
Owner run and managed, Chundukwa offers just six river-facing chalets all with views of the Zambezi.
- Kakuli Bush Camp
Kakuli Bush Camp is one of the few Zambian and South Luangwa National Park bush camps to open in February and March.
At this time of year, the river is high, we gain access by boat and activities are either on the river or on foot in the drier, sandy areas that surround the camp, with spectacular wildlife.
- Royal Chundu Zambezi River Lodge
Royal Chundu Zambezi River Lodge, a Relais & Châteaux property situated on the mighty Zambezi River just upstream from Victoria Falls on a 15 km stretch of private waterway.
The perfect option for both a romantic escape or a unique, fun-filled family holiday.
- Luwi Bush Camp
Due to its remote location, there are not many roads in the area so activities are centred on walking safaris. This fact makes Luwi Bush Camp one of the most enthralling camps in Zambia.
The wildlife in the South Luangwa National Park is prolific and to track it each day on foot is a memory that will last a lifetime.
- Busanga Plains Camp
Busanga Plains Camp is an intimate option for those seeking out an almost private wildlife safari experience, perfect for couples, honeymooners and small groups alike.
The luxury Kafue camp offers up only four luxurious tented suites, each with commanding views over the Busanga Plains.